By LAURA HAMPSON
This year was supposed to be a bumper year for Japan’s tourism industry .
Still riding on the glow of the 2019 Men’s Rugby World Cup in September last year, 2020 would shine a spotlight on the nation once again with the Summer Tokyo Olympics.
Instead in April, which would normally see a buzz of tourists for the famed cherry blossom season, the country saw a 99.9 per cent drop in visitors year-on-year as people around the world were told to stay at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
At a press conference last Wednesday, The Japan Times reported that Hiroshi Tabata of the Japan Tourism Agency said that the Japanese government plans to allocate $12.5 billion (£10.2 billion) to a new reimbursement programme that could launch as soon as July.
The Japanese government has not yet unveiled the particulars for this plan, and it is unclear if it will apply to both domestic and international travellers.
The new plan could mirror that of Sicily’s, the Italian island which has said it will pay for half the cost of flights and a third of the hotel room fee for tourists wanting to visit in autumn.
Original Article: Evening Standard